Often it is the evenings when we have less energy to cook and would rather be relaxing. This might mean that spending time making a healthy dinner may not always be a top priority. Whether its because you don’t have much spare time to spend in the kitchen or maybe you just simply want to short-cut your way to eating healthy meals more regularly, these top 5 tips will help to get you started.
- Make 1 to 5 dinners. This means you make 1 dinner that can be turned into 5. For example: cooking a big pot of nachos mix and keeping it in the fridge in a large container. This meat or bean mix can be eaten with corn chips, rice, quinoa or cooked vegetables. This mix can also be turned into spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne, put with salad in a wrap or served on top of a baked potato. Other 1 to 5 dinners include rice or quinoa with vegetables that can be turned into burgers by adding eggs and any flour or it can be used as a base for cottage pie by simply adding mashed potato on top and baking.
- Making larger batches and freezing. My favourite meals to freeze are millet falafels and green pea dahl. The millet falafel recipe is very simple to make and is also great for school lunches. A simple dahl or green soup recipeare also quick to make, with not too many ingredients and can be frozen and taken out of the freezer in the morning and simply reheated that night.
- Keep extra cooked curry, rice, millet or quinoa in the fridge. Having it there ready to go means you simply warm it up and add to cooked vegetables or salad.
- Spread the load. Make some time whilst you are fresh in the morning to cut up your vegetables and store them in a container. This will save you time and energy at night. Pre-cut vegetables are easy to throw in a pan for a quick stir-fry with tofu, eggs or meat or steamed and eaten with something you have pulled out of the fridge or freezer such as quinoa, lasagne or a premade mix such as a healthy vegetable curry or bean dish.
- Pre-make wraps or pizza bases and freeze. Tortilla wraps are very simple to make, just mix masa lista flouraround 1:1 with water and roll out or use a press. These can then be frozen and pulled out in the morning and they will be defrosted by dinner. You can use them as wraps, as mini pizza bases or served with a pre-made mix such as a curry or vegetable soup.
You can choose 1 or 2 evenings of the week to make extra to keep in the fridge or freezer and the other nights simply warm up what you have prepared, sit down and relax.
Being organised in the kitchen doesn’t need to take much effort and the benefits are massive.
Having something there ready to go helps to slow down snacking before dinner, reduces the tendency to get take-away food and allows more time to sit, breathe and unwind before you eat. Eating while we are relaxed allows for greater absorption of nutrients, less digestive upsets and greatly minimises over-eating.
Enjoy your week in the kitchen!
Naturopath, Affordable Wholefoods.